RALEIGH – The Carolina Small Business Development Fund and Shaw University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center are gearing up to present their third annual Black Entrepreneurship Week, starting today. It’s the first of three events coming up in the Triangle that are bringing more attention to diversity in the entrepreneurship community.

The program aims to capture the strength of diversity in entrepreneurship. More than 20 free sessions are planned, including workshops, panels, networking events and keynotes—all taking place at the Sheraton Hotel and the Raleigh Convention Center September 16-20.

And two other events bring even more attention to this startup community:

Black Founders Exchange

September 22-27 @American Underground

Run in partnership with Google for Startups, Black Founders Exchange is a week-long immersive accelerator program for Black founders in Durham’s startup community. More WRAL TechWire coverage here.

Black Wall Street: Homecoming

September 25-27 in Downtown Durham

This annual conference brings the startup community together for a three-day experience celebrating diverse, multicultural entrepreneurs and investors in Durham.

The Raleigh event

Over the course of the week in Raleigh, 15 entrepreneurs will participate in Black Entrepreneurs Bootcamp, an accelerated business development program that culminates in a pitch competition on Friday afternoon. Founders will compete for a $3,000 cash prize and a “People’s Choice” recognition from the audience.

Janice Rojas, director of marketing and communications at the Carolina Small Business Development Fund, says Black Entrepreneurship Week is about highlighting emerging innovations and sharing knowledge about growing a business, access to capital, community building and women in business.

“This year’s BEW expects to bring together more than 1,000 people and unites dynamic leaders with a new generation of innovators to focus on the future of small businesses in the black community and beyond,” Rojas added.

The headlining speakers include Richard Berryman, co-founder of Durham social media startup Spokehub, Melissa Mitchell, artist and founder of Abeille Creations, and Tobias Rose, founder of Kompleks Creative and co-founder of Black Wall Street Homecoming (which will take place September 25-27 in Durham).

Workshops and panels will cover a mix of topics, from sales and negotiation strategies to raising capital to marketing and advertising to women in business and black business success stories.

There will also be a student expo featuring innovations by young entrepreneurs, plus a small business resource fair with banks, community organizations and other business support programs.

Business coaches from the SCORE Association will be on-site to provide tips and strategies in one-on-one meetings with attendees.

Folks interested in attending Black Entrepreneurship Week can check out the agenda and register for sessions here.